They are working on the ‘Imappivut’ initiative – which means ‘Our Waters’ - put forward by the Nunatsiavut Government. The initiative supports is based around collaborative management, including the creation and co-management of marine protected areas. Working with local communities and the provincial government, the two governments could potentially protect a stretch of coastline longer than the State of California.
“The Imappivut initiative is about recognizing Labrador Inuit connection, knowledge and rights to our ocean,” said President Johannes Lampe of the Nunatsiavut Government. “It is about respecting our history and current needs by partnering with the Government of Canada to develop a management plan that ultimately improves the lives of those who depend on the water and the ecosystem itself.”
Lampe signed the document with Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada and Dominic LeBlanc, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. The release said they are looking at solutions like Indigenous Protected Areas in order to maintain healthy oceans and healthy coastal communities.
“Our Government is proud of this historic partnership with the Nunatsiavut Government, the ‘Imappivut’ initiative, to protect the ocean in Northern Labrador,” said McKenna. “Together, we will not only help protect a region feeling the very real impacts of climate change – but through environmental stewardship, training, and employment – will provide economic opportunities for Inuit communities along the coast. Both governments understand we can protect the environment while strengthening the economy.”